14 January 09 | Chad W. Post

From PW:

On December 23 ScrollMotion released the first batch of its widely anticipated e-book apps for the iPhone, starting with titles such as Twilight and Eragon. Within 24 hours the company had pulled them from the iTunes store due to security issues.

“Security issues”? I sure hope they mean something about identity theft . . .

“A flaw in the encryption came to our attention almost immediately,” said Calvin Baker, director of ScrollMotion’s e-book program. “Since security and DRM are among our highest priorities, we thought it important to take immediate action.”

Oh no! Gotta keep the text secure or else the fabric, the very essence of the publishing world be torn apart . . . When are publishers going to get past this issue? Even iTunes is offering DRM free files.

Unfortunately, that means ScrollMotion and its partner companies, Hachette Book Group and Random House among them, lost out on the post-Christmas rush of iPhone and iTunes owners filling their new gizmos with data.

Well of course they did. At least there was a good, solid reason for acting so precipitously:

“It’s very, very unlikely that anything would have happened,” said Baker about the experience, “but we thought it better to be overly cautious.” Better, as they say, to be safe than sorry.


I have a feeling that ScrollMotion’s Iceberg is a pretty cool, but their business judgment seems all over the place. Check out these insane prices:

Like the Kindle, books can be downloaded wirelessly, though unlike the Kindle which sells most titles for $9.99 or less, prices for the Iceberg-formatted books are the same or more as retail list — $27.50 for the Paolini, $23.95 for the Kneale, $12.99 for the Westerfeld ($2 more than the paperback). As of today, two dozen titles are available for download. Baker said he “anticipates 200 titles should be available within weeks.”

More for the e-book than the paperback? In what way does that follow the laws of supply and demand? Or common sense?

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